A New York federal court recently held that a service provider for employer-sponsored retirement plans was not liable as a fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) when it used participant information to encourage certain plan participants to roll over assets into its more expensive managed account program. Carfora v. Teachers Ins. Annuity
Donald P. Sullivan is a principal in the San Francisco, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Donald has more than 20 years of experience defending and counseling employers, as well as fiduciaries, sponsors, and insurers of employee benefit plans, in state and federal courts and before state and federal agencies, including the United States Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and California’s Departments of Industrial Relations and Fair Employment and Housing.
In his employee benefits practice, Donald regularly advises and represents both pension and welfare benefit plans and their fiduciaries in class action and single-participant litigation. With respect to pension plans, Donald defends plans and fiduciaries against lawsuits alleging imprudent investments in employer securities, imprudent selection of investment options, excessive administrative fees, and entitlement to benefits. With respect to welfare plans, Donald defends plans, fiduciaries, and insurers of insured benefit plans in both ERISA and non-ERISA actions seeking the payment of short and long-term disability, life and medical benefits. Donald also frequently represents employee benefit plans and their fiduciaries in investigations conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor.
In his employment practice, Donald defends clients in cases alleging violations of the California Labor Code related to the payment of wages, as well as in lawsuits alleging discrimination on the basis of race, gender, age and disability in violation of California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act and federal statutes, including Title VII, the ADA, and the ADEA. He has extensive experience defending both single-plaintiff and class action ERISA and California wage and hour lawsuits. Integral to Donald’s practice are the privacy protections afforded to individuals under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Donald’s interest and commitment to the employment and employee benefits practice has very deep roots. In college, he worked for the Office of Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining for Washington, D.C. He worked for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission while in law school. After law school, he began representing employers and management in employment and labor disputes, while developing a sub-specialty in employee benefits, ERISA, and healthcare. Donald was a law clerk for the Honorable Everett A. Martin, Fourth Judicial Circuit of Virginia, 1996-1997. Before joining Jackson Lewis, Donald practiced in the Chambers USA awarding-wining labor and employment group of a national Philadelphia-based law firm.
On June 21, 2022, CommonSpirit Health defeated a putative class action brought by former employees who alleged that the company mismanaged their 401(k) plan by offering higher-cost, actively managed investment options when lower-cost index funds with better returns were available. The plaintiffs also alleged that the plan’s recordkeeping and investment management fees were excessive when…
Northrop Grumman has agreed to pay $12,375,000 to settle a class action brought under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) by participants in its 401(k) plan. The parties reached the initial terms of this settlement last year minutes before the start of the trial.
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